Special Report

14 Countries the US Government Doesn't Want You to Visit

Source: batuhanozdel / Getty Images

6. Libya
> Last State Dept. update: 4/9/2019
> Population: 6.4 million
> GDP per capita: $5,978

The State Department has a standing “do not travel” advisory on Libya, which has been unstable since dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011. The Libyan government’s ability to control crime is limited, and militia groups sometimes detain travelers for no reason. Extremist groups are known to target Americans. According to the State Department, some international and national airports are closed, and flights out of airports that are open are irregular and may be canceled without warning.

Source: marcobellucci / Flickr

7. Mali
> Last State Dept. update: 4/9/2019
> Population: 18.5 million
> GDP per capita: $827

The levels of crime and terrorism in Mali have propmpted the U.S. government to issue a “do not travel” advisory to the West African nation. Terrorist groups operating in the landlocked nation have been known to target foreigners at nightclubs, hotels, and restaurants. In November 2015, a jihadi group attacked a hotel in Mali’s capital, killing 20 people, including one American. Violent crime, such as kidnapping and armed robbery, is common in northern and central Mali, and the U.S. government says it would be unable to provide assistance to Americans who go to those regions.

Source: narvikk / Getty Images

8. North Korea
> Last State Dept. update: 12/19/2018
> Population: 25.5 million
> GDP per capita: N/A

Relations between North Korea and South Korea, as well as North Korea and the United States, appeared to be improving in 2018. In January, the North and South held talks for the first time in two years, and North Korea sent a team to the Winter Olympics hosted by its neighbor to the south as a sign of good will. President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in June, and nuclear de-escalation by the isolated dictatorship appeared to be underway. Then follow-up talks between the United States and North Korea abruptly fell apart after Kim ruled out disarmament. In May, the nation launched its first missile test in a year and a half.

The U.S. state department forbids Americans to travel to North Korea without special exemption, noting that American citizens who travel there are at “serious risk of arrest and long-term detention.”

Source: HomoCosmicos / Getty Images

9. Somalia
> Last State Dept. update: 4/9/2019
> Population: 14.7 million
> GDP per capita: $478

Somalia, an African nation located on the Indian Ocean, has been a haven for terrorism. At least six people were killed after a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle containing explosives in September of 2018 in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Kidnapping and murder also are widespread in Somalia. Illegal roadblocks are a fact of life in the country. Pirates also are active in the international waters near Somalia.

Source: Phototreat / Getty Images

10. South Sudan
> Last State Dept. update: 4/9/2019
> Population: 12.6 million
> GDP per capita: N/A

South Sudan gained independence in 2011. But peace has been elusive for the fledgling nation, which descended into conflict two years after its creation. About 4 million people have been displaced by the conflict. The ongoing ordeal is the reason the U.S. government has advised Americans not to travel to South Sudan. U.S. government employees are under a strict curfew and can only travel in armored vehicles in the capital Juba. Because of frequent crime, embassy personnel are discouraged from walking anywhere.

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